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Review: Palm Pre

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Not to be left out of the app store craze, Palm is offering a beta version of its App Catalog on the Palm Pre at launch. The catalog lets you sort through applications based on category or by those that are popular, featured, etc. You can also search directly for an application using the search bar. Similar to many of the other competing app stores, you can see some screen shots of the application, what users have rated the application, read the reviews, see the size of the application, the number of downloads, etc.

Downloading apps is quick and simple. They will automatically install after downloading and you have the option to launch it immediately or continue browsing the App Catalog. Apps are added to the main menu.

I downloaded several applications while testing the Pre. They all worked pretty well. Palm didn't say when the store will launch a 1.0 version, but all the apps offered in the beta version were free.

AccuWeather, for example, was excellent. It really delivered a great weather-checking experience. The Associated Press application was less useful. Fandango did a very good job at locating movie theater, times and the ability to buy tickets. These all appear to be solid applications. How the developer community will rise to support webOS is unknown, however. Apple, Google and RIM have been lucky with their large number of developers eager to spend time crafting applications for those platforms. Palm does have a fervent user base. That should translate to a good selection of applications for the platform. Palm and its developer partners will likely begin charging for some applications before too long.


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